A friend commented on my post “A Time to Dance”, reminding me of the prhase: mens sana in corpore sano. Roughly translated from Latin, this means “A sound mind in a sound body.” Said friend was absolutely right to point out the significance that the mens sana comes first. It’s so easy, when striving to achieve one goal, to beat yourself up and then forget all about the importance of looking after the other aspects of “you”.
This got me thinking about other pearls of wisdom that I’ve collected over the years and don’t appreciate enough, or forget them and allow them to gather dust.
1) Renew Your Spirit Day.
This is a concept I came across on FLYLady – an American website run by the FLYLady, which strives to help remove the martyrdom from SHEs (side-tracked home executives) and restore some calm and balance in SHEs’ lives. I initially stumbled across this site after googling (I kid you not) the phrase “How on God’s Earth am I meant to hold down a full-time, stressful job and look after the house while also getting some sleep?”.
Google didn’t let me down and introduced me to FLYLady: my new life as a FLYbaby had begun.
FLYlady suggests putting aside one day a week for “renewing your spirit” – insisting on the importance of looking after yourself as well as your family. There are also weekly “pamper missions” and, one month, the habit to develop was “blessing yourself”, meaning that every day for a month you had to do something for you.
2) Make pampering yourself a habit.
This didn’t have to be a big thing. It could be as simple as painting your nails, or putting on a pair of pretty earrings in the morning before leaving for work. It didn’t have to take time, or cost money, it just reminded you that you are important too.
Some suggestions for blessing yourself:
* put on a pair of pretty earrings
* Have a bubble-bath
* Enjoy a cup of tea and 15 minutes reading a new book
* Use a 5 minute home face-pack
* Go for a walk
The final one on this list is one I took advantage of yesterday and boy did it renew my spirit:
The park I usually power around for my walks was transformed by a carpet of daisies, buttercups and forgetmenots. The pretty flowers forced me to slow down, because I wanted to avoid squashing them if possible, and this meant that I relaxed more and enjoyed both the sunshine and the peace. For a Saturday morning, the park (recreation ground) was surprisingly deserted and the only accompaniment to my walk was birdsong. I felt relaxed, happy, and at peace. All the stress of the previous weeks melted away and I resolved to give Saturday over to me. I had the house to myself (my friend was visiting another friend in London and my DH was out for a friend’s birthday) and I was not going to martyr myself by scrubbing floors.
3) Exercise as an anti-depressant
How many times have I allowed my low mood to encourage me to “comfort eat”? Too many. The simple truth is, that the walk in the park did more to lift my spirits than chocolate ever could. The fresh air blew the cobwebs away, the sunshine made me feel positive, and the exercise improved my circulation, meaning that I felt more upbeat. It’s probably a good thing that the park was deserted, as I was grinning like an idiot during my walk – it felt so good!
4) Exercising the Mind is as Important as Exercising the Body.
Is it Healthful? (A blog I’ve recently started following) uncannily posted a blog about the importance of exercising the mind as well as the body.
Even if you’re not suffering from depression, being mindful is an important tool for wellbeing. A recent assembly at school showed that the majority of children in Year 8, felt that mental health was not something that could be discussed. Pair this with statistics which show that there is an increasing number of referrals to CAMs in schools, and you’ve got a worrying situation. My form and I are looking into mindfulness for our topic this half term and I’ll use whatever research we come up with to edit and improve this blog at a later date.
So, reader, remember to make time for you.